Sunday, September 25, 2011

# 6- Hurricane Andrew

Before Katrina there was Andrew.  Days before the storm that would eventually flatten much of South Florida hit our neighborhood the news stations were busy alerting the public on the latest closings, shelter locations, and evacuation plans.  As the threat approached my mother got the brilliant idea to go to church.  I was beside myself in wonder of how she could think of such a thing while the monster storm approached.  I did my best to explain the gravity of the situation but she would have none of it.

As I rode the church bus I contemplated running away to my elementary school which was turned into a shelter. I saw myself being interview as "the brave boy who escaped a fundamentalist home in the nick of time to make it into safety".

I remember clearly how State Road 7 was so "blanche" (vacant) that I wagered that I could have taken a 2 hour nap unmolested.  Upon arriving at the church we were swiftly given our share of dried goods and can stuffs.  It was in one of these brown bags that I came to know that delicious cereal otherwise known as Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

I was gripped by anxiety so I don't remember much of the afternoon but I'm pretty sure that rounds of prayer and adoration were done after the food was dispensed.

Once back home I did my best to prepare.  My mother cooked and my step-father announced that he would be working at the hospital that night and would not spend the storm with us.  I spent the afternoon and night transfixed on the television until the power went out.

When we woke up in the morning and opened the door it seemed like the storm to every sliver of cloud with it.  The sky was peculiarly naked.  There was some damage in our neighborhood but the storm flattened the town of Homestead.  Hurricane Andrew was at that time the costliest storm in US history.

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